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February 6, 2004 - 8,783 subscribers
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)
Massachusetts Eyes Bulk Drug Purchasing Program
Excerpt: "Looking for greater bargaining leverage against drug manufacturers, Governor Mitt Romney's administration yesterday began exploring the idea of lumping together the buying power of the state's Medicaid, Medicare, state employee insurance, and prison and hospital systems." (Boston Globe)

GASB Issues Revised Exposure Draft on Employer Reporting of Other Postemployment Benefits
Excerpt: "The Exposure Draft addresses how state and local governments should account for and report their costs and obligations related to postemployment healthcare and other non-pension benefits provided to retirees (collectively referred to as other postemployment benefits, or OPEB)." (AccountingWEB)

In Michigan, County Retirees Vow to Fight Despite Ruling Allowing Gov't to Share Health Costs
Excerpt: "St. Clair County officials said a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals in a public school retirees case confirms their ability to change pr*scription drug co-pays for county retirees.... The Court of Appeals, ruling Tuesday said governmental entities can change retirees' benefits." (TheTimesHerald.com)

Akron, Ohio Municipal Government Retirees Sue; Claim Free Lifetime Benefits
Excerpt: "Akron's police and firefighter retirees have filed suit claiming the city has reneged on a promise of free, lifelong health care. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Summit County Common Pleas Court, seeks class-action status for some 900 retirees." (Ohio.com)

An Employer's Guide to Disability Income Insurance (PDF)
8 pages; 2002. (Health Insurance Association of America)

Retiree Health Benefits in 2003: Employer Survey
Excerpt: "This survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Hewitt Associates between June and September 2003 provides detailed information on retiree health programs offered by large private-sector employers.... An article based on the survey's findings appeared in the January 14, 2004 online issue of Health Affairs ..." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

HSAs Will Be Available, But Employees Need To Know More
Excerpt: "It looks like benefits brokers planning to market health savings accounts (HSAs) will have the pick of the litter. However, they had better put together a clear, explanatory presentation for the many employees who are definitely interested." (BenefitNews.com)

Health Broker Group Thinks Association Health Plans Undermine Market
Excerpt: "Prominent health insurance brokers oppose President Bush's renewed push to allow small employers to band together to negotiate lower prices on health insurance." (BenefitNews.com)

Tax Incentives For Long-Term Care Insurance In President's FY05 Budget Proposal
Press release. Excerpt: "The president's budget includes an 'above-the-line' deduction for long-term care insurance premiums and provides an additional personal exemption to home caregivers of family members with long-term illnesses." (American Council of Life Insurers)

An Employer's Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance (PDF)
8 pages, published in late 2002. (Health Insurance Association of America)

A Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance (PDF)
26 pages, May 2003; for consumers. (Health Insurance Association of America)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Opinion: DNA Discrimination Law Not Needed
Excerpt: "Genetic discrimination means being denied employment or health insurance (or being charged more for it) as a result of testing positive for a gene that raises your risk of developing a disease such as cancer or Alzheimer's. Since at least 1990, it has been cast as the dark underbelly of the human genome project ... [but critics] have grossly overstated the threat and the reality of genetic discrimination." (Wall Street Journal via SFGate.com)

Practitioner's Forum Discussion on Proposed Changes to Circular 230 Regarding Tax Opinions
Excerpt: "The topic is the proposed modifications of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230 regarding the requirements for tax opinions provided by attorneys and accountants. The discussion focused on how the proposed changes will affect the general practice of tax law, and in particular, the effect on employee benefits and tax practitioners." (BNA Tax Management)

The 2003 MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends (PDF)
24 pages. Excerpt: "The 2003 MetLife Employee Benefits Trends Study was conducted during the third quarter of 2003 and consists of two distinct surveys, one of which polls employees and the other of which polls employers." (MetLife)

Audio Report: Supermarkets Reject Labor Strike Arbitration
Excerpt: "Striking and locked-out grocery workers in California offered Wednesday to turn over stalled negotiations to a third-party negotiator. But the three supermarket chains involved in the dispute rejected the offer. The strike is now in its fourth month. Hear NPR's Carrie Kahn." (National Public Radio)

Opinion: Time for San Diego to Confront Unfunded Retiree Health, Pension Liabilities Head-On
Excerpt: "When Moody's Investors Service this week downgraded San Diego's credit outlook from stable to negative, it sounded a klaxon that no longer can be ignored. Keeping the retirement system solvent ... will consume an alarming percentage of the city's general fund for years to come." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Opinion: Rethink Proposed Shift of Responsibility for Retirement, Health Insurance to Individuals
Excerpt: "President Bush has proposed a shift to an 'ownership society,' where individuals take increased responsibility for their health insurance and retirement income. Before embracing this initiative, it is useful to look at one example of what happens when all the responsibility is shifted to the individual -- namely, 401(k) plans." (Alicia H. Munnell and Annika Sunden in the Boston Globe)

DOL EBSA Budget Stresses ERISA Enforcement, Retirement Savings
Excerpt: "The creation and protection of Americans' retirement savings is clearly a Bush administration priority, the president's proposed 2005 budget indicates." (BenefitNews.com)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Introduction to ESOPs
in Indiana on June 2, 2004
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Introduction to ESOPs
in Michigan on June 3, 2004
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

403(b) Plans Intermediate eSeminar
Nationwide on March 2, 2004
presented by McKay Hochman

Introduction to Retirement Plans eSeminar
Nationwide on March 31, 2004
presented by McKay Hochman
Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Plante & Moran Bridges The Great Lakes With Chicago Merger
(Plante & Moran, PLLC)
Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Administrator
for R.J.L. Pension Services, Inc.
in FL

Compliance Specialist
for MBM Advisors Inc. in Houston, TX
in TX

Human Resources Specialist - LOA Focused
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Chief Economist and Director of Policy and Research
for U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, ES-110
in DC

Account Executive - Client Relationship Management
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in CA

Human Resource Generalist
for Gensler
in NY

Marketing Strategist
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

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